A short story I’ve been writing to try and explain the unwritten years between the end of the Hunger Games and the epilogue…Let me know what you think! I do not own the Hunger Games at all! I just like the idea of providing literature on what pieces are not there. I suppose this counts as me wallflowering on Katniss!
It would never be the same. Peeta’s memories were warmed now, but he would never be my devoted lover again. I’d never feel that same undying affection for only me because of all we’d been through. Now, it was more like a mutual respect…it felt like a normal relationship should, but I didn’t want a normal relationship…I wanted our relationship.
It has been years since the revolution’s end, and Prim’s death still weighs terribly on my heart. I still could not look at Gale for too long. All of these little tiny shards of glass seemed to forever fly about my mind. No matter what memories my brain chose to focus on, sharp edges seemed to outline them and pain enveloped every thought.
I told them that I was better. I just couldn’t stand talking to that damned therapist anymore. Every meeting unsettled me because I would rather go through the Games again than try to pick out each memory shard and force my brain to take a closer look. I would rather just put my memories behind; it seems less painful that way. Happy ones brought the pain of missing them, while upsetting ones hurt for obvious reasons.
As the world had been struggling through rebirth, Peeta and I had been trying to rebuild our relationship. In the beginning, I wanted to stay as far away from him as possible. I didn’t want to witness Peeta’s mood swings of hatred for me leading into a patched up apology. Not having my rock killed me, but either out of cowardice or some form of brave lover’s feeling for his betterment, I managed. Eventually, things seemed to get better for him; hardly any mood swings, and some sign of possible remembrance. For a few weeks now, we have been going on daily walks and occasionally out on “dates.” They seemed to me too small and simple for where our relationship should be after everything, but Haymitch seems to think there is hope in regaining at least some of his feelings by starting fresh. Acting like we just met, but never forgetting.
The thoughts of my lost love lead me far into self-pity (feelings I used to have the dignity to stamp out). I travel deep into that more recently developed hole of longing, until I am snapped back. Peeta appears across the field and begins to walk toward me…and my instincts tell me it’s time for our daily walk considering he wouldn’t come looking for me otherwise.
“Hey Katniss,” he greets me with a lackluster voice, one without the gloss of his pre-torture tone of admiration. I feel an uncomfortable pull at my heart, and I can’t help but force my mind to take this note on a tangent thought: Listen to clichés because there is a reason they’re so widely accepted; they are true. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Even something as small as a tone of voice can be precious and life changing. I learned that from losing Peeta, but I could never tell him. He could not have anything to say but sorry, and it wouldn’t be a sincere one either.
I nodded, realizing I had seemingly ignored Peeta’s greeting, and we went on our way. Silence ensued as it always did while we walked through the dark, dust-ridden street to get to a happier part of town, and I started to wonder why we put ourselves through this with no hope of a result.
“So, how is your day?” he asked, not seeming to genuinely want an answer.
“Normal,” I replied, “I was hunting most of the morning, and then I was just in the field relaxing. What did your day consist of?”
“Sleeping,” was all he responded with. This never would have been Peeta’s morning routine before. He thought sleeping late wasted the most beautiful part of the day, but now beauty didn’t seem to mean as much to Peeta. Nothing did.
“Peeta, can I ask you something?” I found myself boldly proposing. Maybe a bit of our natural comfort had subconsciously slid back into our conversation…usually I wasn’t able to keep words flowing between us…let alone to ask a question.
“What’s up?” Peeta turned his head toward me, and made a moment of eye contact before pursuing forward. I swore I just saw a flicker of interest in those usually dull, worn eyes.
“Well…” there was so much I needed to say, and because of the pressure, usually at this point I would shut down and silently move on. When did this become me? Afraid of a boy…of my Peeta none the less? Instead…I mustered up all the courage I could gather and blurted out, “do you ever actually remember?”
He looked a bit frazzled at the enormity of the question I just seemed to throw up, which showed with the furrow of his brow. Peeta always made the most adorable face when he was thinking. The slight wrinkles on his forehead have an honesty to them, giving way to whether or not he truly is in a deep thought process. His eyes also seem to twinkle with the depth of a whole galaxy when they fade into thinking mode. I took all this in, sighing at the beauty of a simple, familiar situation.
Peeta looked quizzically at me until answering with, “Well, I think you are asking if I ever sort of phase back into old me. Whether or not the bits of memory that I regain seem just like pictures to me, or I feel like I actually lived them. Am I right in taking that from your question?”
I nodded eagerly.
“Yeah,” Peeta answered, “I suppose I do experience that. It’s kinda like deja vu…but more personal. I remember things for a little while, and I know they are really my experiences; it’s just a matter of placing them.”
Peeta looked back at me and smiled with triumph. A small victory. This could get us somewhere.